“The Bug” Saucier & Heys

Research-creation residency from august 1st to 31st 2017

Saucier & Heys will develop their new project – ‘The Bug,’ which investigates the ubiquity of current surveillance strategies/systems and speculates on the state’s desire to record the purchases, movements, and relationships of the global civilian populace. This impetus isn’t new. The urge to achieve such aims is traceable to the aspirations of inventor Thomas Edison and philosopher/mathematician Charles Babbage. Whilst Babbage proposed ‘the air itself is one vast library, on whose pages are for ever written all that man has ever said or woman whispered’, Edison regretted he was not present from the start of humanity to record ‘important speeches of men and gods, down through the ages’.

The ‘Bug’ manifests as an enlarged robotic organism pinned down like a giant insect; an embodiment of the ‘Great Seal bug’ – the first covert listening device to use passive techniques to transmit audio (predecessor to RFID technology). This living system of paranoia will be covered in small microphones and sensors. When the bug electronically perceives presence it will anxiously shake and emit chapters of the history of listening devices (1945-current day). From wiretaps on New York’s public phones, to TVs with built-in microphones, to cats with transmitters sewn into their fur, these are all points in the outlandish cosmology of sonic-bugging.

A public event will be organized during the residency, more details will be announces soon.

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